Monday, December 24, 2007

I love Czech Christmas:)


It's like living in a winter wonderland; it's been so cold and moist that the snow seems to just form out of thin air and attach to the trees. The top picture was taken in the morning on my way to work on Friday, and the next picture shows the long line of people waiting to buy their carp for the Christmas Dinner. Yesterday we had a full day, the our Christmas pageant in the morning and Live Nativity in the evening. The play was great, if you've ever read "The best Christmas pageant Ever," this was a translation into Czech language and culture. You can see the group of hoodlums in this picture starting some firecrackers, and in the next picture the firemen came to clean it up.


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Our band also played two songs during the worship, a big step. We got many great comments of support and encouragement, plus I feel like the members of the band really felt like they played a special role in the service. We had many visitors and I think they could tell from the service that exciting things are happening in this church.
And of course, the Live Nativity was the perfect ending to the day. We stood outside for an hour, singing in the FREEZING COLD! I had two sets of gloves(thank you MaryAnn and Jacque:), two hats(thanks to one of my students), two layers of pants, and my special coat from a woman in Switzerland(see first snow post from last November). In between the singing, I did somethings with members from our Band, Madla on violin and Honza on guitar. Honza and I put together Jingle Bell Rock as kind of a last minute idea, and it was a great hit. Lots of people know this song; it was quite a surprise though, against the other classical carols. We finished off the evening with Christmas Punch and Goulash:) to bring the feeling back into our fingers and toes. It was an amazing day full of celebrating Christ's birth. I'm excited to get started on another one today!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We wish you a Merry Christmas

The spirit of Christmas has been buzzing around our church all through the month of December. We started off by making some things for our Christmas Bazaar led by the women of the Church and the Sunday School Classes. The profits from our sales will go to help a teenage boy in India. The biggest hit was our Snowman Soup, made with hot chocolate and marshmallows(quite a novelty here).

This month I'm giving presentations on typical Christmas Traditions in the US. My first presentation was in the church, and I was shocked by the variety of people we had attending. Out of 40 people I would say that one third was under twenty, one third was between 25 and 40, and the other third was 50 and over. Quite balanced and interesting, especially since there were several people I had never seen before. A friend of mine was translating for me, and I'm so thankful that I was able to have someone to help me share my thoughts and feelings with everyone. Throughout the rest of the month I've been sharing my presentation with some of the schools. I think it's interesting to meet new kids and tell them about some of our traditions as they get the experience of listening to a presentation in English.
The English classes also learned some Christmas Songs, which we recorded for a CD that they could take home. The CD also has some readings translated by the students, and I think many of us were pleased with the way it turned out. I know I'll listen to it for many Christmases to come:) Here's a sample made especially for you! A little Christmas wish from the students of Policka.